View topic - Birch bark thugs - is this for canoe building???

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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 8:19 am 
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Seriously annoyed that someone drove along our road and killed about 15 birch trees on private properties by taking one metre strips off all the way around - is this for canoe building? Why wouldn't they take more than one patch from a tree, e.g. kill one tree instead of 15 of them??? All healthy beautiful trees.

:evil:

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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 8:44 am 
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No.. not big enough diameter for canoe building.. Someone is making birch bark vessels like baskets and purses. Its what they could reach.


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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 8:54 am 
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i would have given them a whole tree, if only they had asked. Instead they had to steal and vandalize and kill 15 trees. Very sad, I hope they don't consider themselves 'artisans'.


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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 9:35 am 
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Is the cambium off too? Debarking a birch wont hurt it if it is still on.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Harvesting-Birch-Bark/


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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 9:56 am 
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It is stripped full circle around the main trunk of every tree. Right down to the inner wood layer which is also scored top to bottom and all the way around. Your link says "If done right (i.e. early spring), the tree will regrow it's bark in 10-20 years." Pretty certain this was not done right since it's not early spring and also completely girdles the tree. If my trees don't die, I'd be pretty happy, but I'm not holding my breath!!


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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 10:21 am 
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Any kids' camps nearby?

Check out the local farmer's market for birch crafts.

People really are just unbelievable.


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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 10:30 am 
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We are rural Parry Sound District with not much around - which I guess makes people think it's ok to vandalize and steal. I don't think I have any recourse, except now I certainly won't buy any birch bark crafts!


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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 11:17 am 
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I saw flowers for sale at the local grocery store that were in "birch" baskets. They looked like they might have been a tree at some point in time. Pretty gruesome looking things.

Also popular at Christmas...sticks. Sticks in big vases.

We've had people rooting around in our ditch to harvest the cattails that grow there. Which are also for sale in stores.

The mind boggles.

It's weird that only a small section of each tree was damaged. One would think that crafters would want more than that.

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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 11:23 am 
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I guess they took what they could reach. Someone about my height (5'6")!!! But not low to the ground either, bizarre.


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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 2:19 pm 
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i guess birch bark crime is not all that unusual.

http://www.cbc.ca/news2/background/crime/weird-heists.html

Quote:
When Bert Cooper surveyed the backyard of his Manitoulin Island property a few months ago, he was stumped: Someone had stripped the bark off his birch trees.

At first, it looked as though the culprit hit only a handful of trunks. But as the 78-year-old walked along his property, on the island that borders Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, he saw that the bark bandit was efficient and methodical — about 120 birch trees had the same two-to-three-foot section uniformly cut out.

"It was so disgusting," he told the CBC.

Cooper isn't the only victim of this curious caper. His neighbours have since had their trees stripped, too.

Bud Hebner of Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources says these thefts are becoming more commonplace. He believes the burglars are using the birch bark for crafts, as the unique texture of the bark is increasingly in demand.

Most people picture century-old paintings, jewelry and cash as typical targets of an elaborate heist. But thieves have branched out. From birch bark to beer, or in some cases even parrots and pigs, there's been some peculiar pilfering.

Sometimes the swindlers seek to capitalize on a high commodity price, which is what appears to be driving copper theft at construction sites and buildings all over Canada. In other cases, such as a slew of gory body-part thefts in New York City, the thieves are trying to fetch high profits on a very specialized black market.

In any event, there have been some very weird heists of late. Here is a partial list....


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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 4:00 pm 
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Contact your local police and file a report.

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PostPosted: July 6th, 2015, 8:56 pm 
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The worst case of BB thuggery I've seen so far was in Killarney PP (people cutting away BB seems to happen often at campgrounds).... anyway in the interior there were several nice paper birches, maybe the largest I'd seen yet, growing in a grove a short distance from the Baie Fine - OSA lake canoe route. Each visit in the area I took the time to walk into the forest and see them. One year I walked in and the birch bark had been stripped off the large trees. Those would have been large sheets, large enough to build a canoe... oh well, no way am I buying BB canoes now.

If it's any consolation, paper birches don't live to become very old trees, IIRC 75 years is old for a paper birch and most will be dying by that time.

Those trees above might not be dead... if there is living green cambium below that brown inner bark, maybe visible by cutting away a little of the brown inner bark.

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PostPosted: July 7th, 2015, 7:18 am 
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i would be thrilled if the trees didn't die. I have read everything that comes up about removing bark from a tree, i thought maybe I could seal the cuts with something. The most people recommend taking is 8-10 inches, definitely not three feet.. Don't damage the cambium or inner bark layer. After that comes inner wood. So what are we looking at here, cambium or wood layer? It is deeply scored, which is how disease gets into the tree and kills it I am assuming. Asking a tree expert ... will report my findings.

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PostPosted: July 7th, 2015, 10:40 am 
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I am no expert on birch trees... but as long as there is a green cambium layer between bark and inner wood, that is an indication that the tree is still alive where the outer bark was removed (and hopefully leaving some inner bark to protect cambium).

The photo below isn't a birch, still shows the green cambium underneath when the bark is sliced away with a knife.

http://pics.davesgarden.com/pics/2009/0 ... 47b158.jpg

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PostPosted: September 23rd, 2017, 1:55 pm 
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Update! The trees are all dead now. Since this happened I have noticed similar looking birch trees all around Muskoka and Parry Sound. Some 'craftsperson' has funded their business by stealing and killing trees on private property.

Don't buy birch bark crafts!


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